January 14th, 2020 • Featured
Journalism on autopilot: The upside and downside of computer-generated stories
Curt Conrad still remembers heading to bed at 4 a.m. on football Friday nights. With multiple games to cover, quotes to cull and stats to sort, football Friday inevitably led to sleepy Saturday. Not now. Conrad, a sports reporter with the all-digital Richland Source in Mansfield, Ohio, relies on automated journalism to cover brass tacks such as the final score, scoring plays by quarter, team records, basic stats and future schedules to generate game stories independently.
What’s the fallout from the radical downturn in the influence of newspapers? To be sure, a less informed populace. More stories generated from press releases. Fewer in-depth articles. Less enterprise coverage of local and regional news. I think there’s something else.
December 20th, 2019 • Featured, From the President
From the President: Women have long been a force at SPJ
Since the days of Nellie Bly – and likely before – women have been a force in journalism. They lead newsrooms. They win Pulitzer Prizes. They fill pages and screens with high-quality, can’t-miss coverage. And in my world – journalism higher ed – they fill far more classroom seats than their male counterparts.
December 19th, 2019 • Featured, Journalist on Call
Hicks: Media essential in impeachment understanding
Much of the evidence introduced during the House impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump was accessible to Americans through the news media and online sites. This allowed unprecedented access to hours of testimony, the opportunity to review documents and, ostensibly, to judge the case against Trump for themselves.
December 17th, 2019 • Featured
Review: Final Newseum show looks at seriously funny “Daily Show”
In its final months on Pennsylvania Avenue before closing (see timeline, below), Washington, D.C.’s Newseum presents an exhibit that explores an institution whose future seems as unknowable as its own. “Seriously Funny: From the Desk of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” celebrates the program that continues to evolve from its parody roots as self-proclaimed fake news into the current era of You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up.
December 13th, 2019 • Featured, Toolbox
Toolbox: What’s to like (and not like) about “likes” leaving Instagram?
Instagram has begun hiding likes. Well, from the public. You, as a user, will still be able to see your own likes once this reaches all accounts, but your followers (and their followers and their friends), won’t be able to see your likes.
I love movies about the news industry. The best ones provide the public true insight into the hard work, long hours and dedication to truth that define real journalists like the ones I’ve been privileged to call workmates in various newsrooms across America.
There’s something of an unwritten back half to the title of “Mike Wallace is Here,” Avi Belkin’s documentary about the American reporter whose legendarily merciless interview tactics established “60 Minutes” as both appointment TV and a vigilant watchdog (The film is now streaming on Hulu and available for rental on other sites).
Marcella Raymond joined the WGN News team in October 1998 and serves as a general assignment reporter. In June of 2019, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. “Sharing my story is scary,” she said, “but I’m hoping we can address the stigma of PTSD, show the warning signs, and get real.”
As we look to the future of journalism, we at SPJ thought it would be insightful to hear from the future of journalism. The Future of Journalism essay contest asked student journalists to submit essays on the subject with a prize of $500, registration at SPJ’s Excellence in Journalism conference in San Antonio, and publication here.
What does the future hold for journalists? While nobody can know the impact of a world of variables, Quill nonetheless asked Meera Selva director of the journalism fellowship programme at the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute to speculate. In the year 2029, as the last printed newspapers roll off the presses, journalists have redefined news and their relationship with their readers.
As the Society of Professional Journalists celebrates its 110th anniversary in 2019, it may come as a surprise that SPJ did not have its signature Code of Ethics for the group’s first 17 years. In 1909 when the young men at DePauw University founded SPJ as a college fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi, one of their goals was “to advance the standards of the press by fostering a higher ethical code.”